Rand makes gains on Fed's dovish comments

The rand gained 1.9% against the US dollar on Wednesday, following the US Federal Reserve Bank's announcement to keep rates on hold. 

This decision was in line with market expectations.

The rand, which ended the day at R14.38/$, strengthened to R14.22/$ overnight. The local currency opened at R14.25/$ on Thursday morning.

"This is excellent news in light of increasing inflation pressures," Biance Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions noted.

"The reprieve in the rand is likely to last only in the short term as electricity woes will continue to weigh on the currency.

"This offers an excellent window for anyone looking to purchase foreign currency and should be used swiftly," Botes said.

Commenting on the Fed decision, TreasuryONE noted that the Fed's dovish statement caused emerging market currencies to rally on dollar weakeness.

The Fed had indicated it would not hike in 2019 and is expecting to only introduce one rate hike in 2020.

"The main reason for this is the slowdown in the global economy and the effect ongoing hikes could have on both the global and US economies," TreasuryONE's market update read.

The Fed also said it would slowdown the shrinking of its balance sheet.

"Sentiment has swung in favour of emerging markets and there could be some rand gains in the short term as we lead up to Moody's credit rating decision [on March 29]."

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